Tips to Creating a Successful Garden Lighting Design

A beautiful landscaped garden without lighting is a garden that is lacking in appearance. You simply cannot appreciate a garden’s beauty without lighting it to enhance its magnificence.

Below are some tips to beautify your garden with some easy, yet functional techniques:

Double Duty – You can kill two birds with one stone with double duty lighting. If you direct a spotlight toward one element in your garden, you can also light another element at the same time. If the light is strong enough, it can illuminate the flowers in front of it while emitting a glow on the beautiful tree in the back of it. Look for those golden opportunities in your garden to save money and time with your lighting.

Water Lighting – Garden ponds need to be lit just as much as any flower or greenery. You can install underwater lights to illuminate and cast a dim light from under the surface of the pond or you can shine a light directly on the water to cast elegant reflections on nearby foliage. Colored lighting is also a great option for water because the colors are very visible on the surface of the water.

Rocks – If you are interested in more inconspicuous lighting, consider purchasing mock rock lights that conceal the lights within them. At night, you will see a warm glow emanating from the area and during the day you will not notice any lighting fixture among the rocks. You can also install lighting fixtures in between the rocks to make them appear as if they are a part of the landscape design. Use the rock colors for inspiration.

Creativity – Think outside of the box with your lighting placement. For example, if you have a strong branch, hang a light from it. The height will bring the light up and offer an entirely different ambience to your landscape. If you want to emphasize the size of your garden, arrange the lights around the perimeter. The boundary will showcase the vastness of the space, especially at night.

Spotlights – We are always a fan of highlighting special sections of the garden and spotlights are the best method to featuring these distinctive elements. Do you have a water fountain? An elegant birdbath? A timeless sculpture? You should highlight whatever feature stands out to you. Angle the lights to illuminate each feature and control the intensity whether soft or hard, based on nearby elements and the overall look you are seeking.

Experiment

The best way to create a garden lighting design that suits your taste is to experiment. Just because you did not get it perfect the first time, does not mean you cannot create the garden of your dreams the second time. Take what you learned and apply it to your design. If one element does not look right, don’t be afraid to change it. Garden lighting is very flexible and fixtures can be moved around with ease. Just make sure to hold off on fitting any wires in a permanent location until you are happy with the final outcome.

How to Incorporate Pendant Lighting into Your Landscape

Pendant lighting is a type of light that suspends from a ceiling or roof area. It is most often used to illuminate patios, porches and entryways. Pendant lights are known for their aesthetic value and their ability to not only illuminate a space, but also to add a layer of elegance, sophistication and style to a backyard. Pendant lights give homeowners the chance to bring their indoor décor to the outdoors to offer a seamless transition to their landscapes.

Pendant lights must be hung from a sturdy ceiling; the higher the better. Homeowners also use them to light outdoor islands when they are part of backyard kitchens. They are a great feature over granite or marble and make the colors pop.

Selections

There are many pendant lights from which to choose. Glass pendants are very popular because they are traditional, yet modern, and they offer a timeless appeal. They also come in varying colors so the light passing through the shade appears colored. Hand-blown glass is popular as well as crystal pieces. Pendants also come in fabric shades, which are not as popular because they do not offer as much light as glass. However, they are less fragile and well-suited where bright illumination is not a major concern.

Pendant lights also come in a variety of metals such as antique brass, brushed nickel, steel, and chrome. The type of metal you choose is important because it must match the overall décor of the space. If you are leaning towards a rustic style, the brushed varieties will be a good choice. If you are a modern homeowner who likes contemporary finishings, the polished steel look will add to the space nicely without overpowering it.

Design

Pay attention to your overall décor when choosing the pendant lights. Because they come in so many shapes, sizes and styles, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or choose a fixture based on interests alone. When choosing your lights, bring along with you a picture of the space and your indoor décor. Ask a salesperson for help if you are confused. This step is one of the most important because pendant lights are more decorative than functional and they must match the style of the space and not clash with it.

Covered Areas

Pendant lights are also exquisite in covered spaces around the garden. Add them to covered walkways and paths to illuminate gardens and foliage. Coordinate your pendant lights with your landscape lighting so both do not illuminate too brightly, but complement each other nicely.

Consider pendant lights as an extension of your personal style and a feature that adds an extra design element. Pendant lights will never go out of style and you can get as creative as you want with the shades and fixtures. Spend some time researching the lights online and don’t rush the decision. Plan properly, and when you are ready they will be worth the wait.

10 Lighting Technique Ideas for Your Landscape

Wondering which lighting technique to use for your landscape design? It’s a tough, but fulfilling road for homeowners who desire to transform the look of their landscape with lighting. With hundreds of techniques from which to choose, designing can turn into an arduous task instead of a rewarding experience.

To make your process a little easier, we outlined some of the top lighting techniques below. They are commonly used in all types of landscape designs and styles. From zen gardens to elaborate Tuscan features, each technique has its place in form and function.

Uplighting – The technique of uplighting involves placing a fixture close to the trunk of a tree and directing the light upward. This effect emits a soft moon-like glow to the tree.

Downlighting – Downlighting is similar to uplighting but the fixture is placed elevated above the object. The smaller trees would benefit from this technique since it casts light through the tree below.

Silhouetting – This technique lights a vertical surface behind an object resulting in a dark outline of the object. This technique is effective for shining light on an object, like a tree or plant located close to a wall.

Grazing – Grazing involves placing a fixture against a textural wall about 6” away from it to intensify its texture. The beam is directed up or down and often used along brick or stone walls.

Shadowing – If you place a fixture in front of an object it will cast a shadow on the surface behind it. This technique is known as shadowing. Play around with the size of the shadow by adjusting the distance of the fixture in relation to the object. The further away the fixture, the smaller the shadow.

Lighting Water – Fountains should be featured in landscape designs with lighting adding a special effect when fixtures are placed under the water. Fountain lighting contributes to a warmer ambience and a reflective water surface. Add colored lenses for a creative and dramatic look.  The same effects can be applied to ponds or any other water feature.

Moonlighting – Moonlighting is evident when a fixture is hidden inside a tree and positioned downward to dance through the branches. The more elevated the fixture, the greater the tranquil effect on the object.

Walkway/Pathway Lighting – This technique is helpful when lighting paths and walkways for security purposes. The paths should be completely visible but not too bright to cause glare or pollution. Consider illuminating any dark areas so intruders are not tempted to approach your property. Low-level lighting will deter criminals and illuminate dark areas while preventing a severe glare.

Spread Lighting – Spread lighting is the perfect accompaniment to greenery or flowers that are low to the ground. The fixtures evenly disperse the light throughout the area of focus. Fully-shielded fixtures are best for the absence of glare, but a partial shield will be the best choice to illuminate larger areas with deeper foliage.

Deck Lighting – Design and safety go hand in hand with deck lighting. Add a beautiful design fixture while illuminating steps, deck edges and changes in elevation for safety.

Any one of these techniques will enhance and provide a safer environment for all who live in your home.